Yoga Room Class - March 9th, 2021

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So I think almost all of you were here last time, and I suggested last week, I think, that a close relationship between the Lotus Sutra and the practice of Zen meditation. And in particular, the Lotus Sutra speaks of a situation of only a Buddha together with Buddha, or only a Buddha together with Buddhas, thoroughly and exhaustively realizes the true nature of all things. And so the work of Buddha's... the Buddha's practice, the Buddha's meditation,


is being only a Buddha together with Buddha. And I suggested that that is Zen meditation. And Zen meditation is also the understanding of the true nature of all things. Zen meditation is only a Buddha practicing together with Buddhas. Also, I offered a prayer last week, which I offer again, which is the prayer that the Great Assembly will receive stillness and silence


and will remember, I pray that the Great Assembly, that all of us remember silence and stillness, and that we practice silence and stillness, which we have received and which we are remembering and I didn't... I don't remember if I suggested it, but tonight I suggest that receiving silence and stillness and remembering it and practicing it is only a Buddha. It's only a Buddha. That's all there is, except there's another phase, which is the last point,


which is the prayer that those who practice silence and stillness transmit it. And transmitting it is together with Buddhas. So, Zazen is remembering stillness and receiving it and practicing it. And remembering and practicing stillness is to remember not to get ahead of yourself or behind yourself, not to walk forward or backward from where you are right now. Not to be attached to where you are right now, but to be upright where you are right now. To be upright with how you are right now is only a Buddha, and this is a big responsibility


which we are given and which we can receive. We can receive the responsibility moment by moment of being right where we are without seeking anything. And remembering that and practicing being right where we are without even seeking to practice, just practicing where we are. Practice being where we are. This is only a Buddha. And this only a Buddha transmits this not moving, not saying anything, transmits it together with Buddhas. By conversing and dialoguing and interacting with other Buddhas without forgetting, without losing,


without being distracted from only a Buddha while we interact with all other Buddhas. And in this practice we realize that only a Buddha and together with other Buddhas are not two. So Zen meditation is only a Buddha together with Buddha and also that those two are not two. That those two are the wholeness of the practice. Fully accepting our responsibility to be our self, to be how we feel and how we think and where we are. Yes. And then transmitting that responsibility


in dialogue with all other beings who are doing the same thing. All other Buddhas, all other only Buddhas. And realizing that the practice is not two. This way that only a Buddha together with a Buddha are not two is also sometimes called the Buddha mudra. Zazen is sometimes called the Buddha mudra. And the word mudra has a number of possible ways to translate into English. One is a circle. Another would be a seal. The sealing of two things or more. So the Buddha's, the Buddha mudra


is the seal or the circle of only a Buddha together with a Buddha. Zen meditation is the Buddha mudra. The seal or the sealing of your practice and the practice of all beings. The sealing, the seal, the circle of your practice and the practice of all Buddhas and all bodhisattvas, all beings. That's the Zen meditation. That's the Zen Buddha mudra or the Zen Buddha seal or the just the Buddha seal. The founder of the, who came to from India to China, the founder of Zen, Bodhidharma,


we say, you know, in our tradition, we say that Bodhidharma came to China to transmit this Buddha mudra. Bodhidharma came to be herself, only herself, in relationship to all beings and to show that this practice is the Buddha mind seal and to transmit this Buddha mind seal, to transmit this meditation. And in one of the writings which we often recite in our tradition, the ancestor Dogen says, when even for a moment you express the Buddha mind seal,


when even for a moment you express the Buddha mudra in your actions of body, speech, and thought. So when you express this Buddha mudra in thinking of this Buddha mudra, in remembering this Buddha mudra, when you think of it, when you remember it, you express it in your thought. You can also talk about it like I'm talking about it right now and I'm gesturing it right now. And when we sit, we often make this mudra, this circle, this is a mudra, right? This is a mudra. This is a seal of our hands, a seal of our body, and a sealing of our practice with all beings practice.


When we even for a moment express it with our body, speech, and thought, the whole world becomes the Buddha mudra and the entire sky turns into awakening. This is Zen meditation in a certain tradition which I'm offering to you, which was offered to me, and now it's offered to you. This is a tradition of Bodhidharma, of Dogen, of the founder of the San Francisco Zen Center, Suzuki Roshi. This is the Buddha mind seal, the Buddha mudra. It's offered to you and now you have it. You had it before anyway, but it's been offered to you,


now you have it, and you're being invited to take care of it. Take care of the Buddha mind seal. Now, there are two essays written by Dogen which kind of focus on this the mind seal, on this only a Buddha together with Buddha. All the essays Dogen wrote are about Zen meditation, we often say, and two of the fascicles about Zen meditation. One's called only a Buddha together with Buddha and another one's called


the true character of all things, the true marks of all things. These two fascicles deal with this only a Buddha together with the Buddha meditation. And in the one that's called only a Buddha together with Buddha, in that fascicle it says all Buddhas practice together with each person. And it also says in that fascicle the entire universe is the true human body. So, I have a body which I'm trying to take care of. Today I was, there was feelings in this body, there were feelings in this body today. I just saw somebody yawn, who shall not be mentioned. Anyway, today I had a feeling that


this body was very tired a lot of the day. This body took a walk into the mountains, into the tall hills around Green Gulch today. But there was this feeling that this body was tired and I'm taking, and there's care given to this body. And there's evaluations of the energy of this body. However, this body which walks up the hill and walk down the hill, it's sort of like not the true human body. The true human body includes the body that walks up and down the mountain. That's included because that body is part of the great earth and all living beings. That body is


a particular aspect of the entire universe. The entire universe is the true human body. It's not really my true human body. It's, I am part of the true human body. The true human body is the whole universe. And if anybody wants to understand the whole universe, they have the opportunity to see it in everything. And as everything, as everything, including everything, that is proposed as the true human body by the ancient Chinese Zen tradition.


And that statement is in this chapter, only a Buddha together with a Buddha. That's one line. The next line is, of this teaching, the next line is, the entire universe is the gate of liberation. Anybody who has the opportunity to meet the entire universe, including themselves, you are meeting the gate of liberation. At this moment, the universe that's looking at itself as you, and that's you looking at it as yourself, that is the gate of liberation. Where you are meeting the universe, that is the gate of liberation. Whatever is going on for you and your environment,


for you and your whole environment, is the gate of liberation. Only a Buddha together with Buddha is another way to say it. The entire universe is the gate of liberation. Only a Buddha together with Buddha. Last week, towards the end, Charlie Wilson said something about, you have to say what you really want. And he was quoting a poem written by a Sufi named Rumi. Rumi was born in Afghanistan and he finished his life in what we now call Turkey.


And so, one of his poems, Charlie quoted one line of one of his poems. The whole poem is in English. It was written in Farsi, I think. The whole poem is, the breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you. Don't go back to sleep. You have to say what you really want. Don't go back to sleep. People, everyone, are walking back and forth at the threshold where the two worlds meet.


The door is round and open. Don't go back to sleep. This threshold could be said to be the gate of liberation. And I've known about this poem for a long time. For a long time, I thought, oh, we're at this threshold where the two worlds meet and we can go through the door. It's round and open. We can go through the door into another world. Which is true. We can. Or we can go through the door into a familiar world. But more recently, I'm feeling like the practice is not going through the gate.


The practice is living at the threshold, living at the gate, walking back and forth at the gate with all beings. Not going into the world of only a Buddha or into the world of together with Buddha. Be at the threshold where the two sides of the door meet. Living at the threshold of liberation, living at the door of liberation is liberation. Liberation is not going over into liberation or over into bondage, of course. Liberation is living where bondage meets liberation. I propose Zen meditation is living where bondage meets liberation.


It's not going over into liberation. And of course, it's not being stuck in bondage. It's meditating. It's remembering stillness. And we are at the threshold. And in stillness, we realize the threshold where the two worlds meet. In stillness, we realize the Buddha mudra, the threshold I propose to you. Is the Buddha mind seal. And we don't need to go anywhere or do anything. And not going anywhere or doing anything is a practice. It is the practice of stillness and silence. It is the practice of Zen meditation. It is the practice of the Buddha mind seal.


It is the practice of self and other are not two. It is the practice of you and Buddha are not two. You live without moving. You find your place where you are. And you're at the threshold where sentient beings meet Buddha in the mudra. This is a mudra also. Joining the palms is a mudra. It's called joining the palms mudra. Your body is a mudra. Your body is a seal. Where sentient being meets Buddha. Your body is a seal where you meet the whole universe as the door of liberation.


Well, it seems to me that I've said quite a bit, at least for starters, to initiate a dialogue, a conversation. So you're welcome, Great Assembly. All over the Northern Hemisphere and Europe, you're welcome to offer something, if you wish. Yes, Justin. What is the relationship between the concept of dependent co-arising and only a Buddha


and a Buddha? Are they talking about similar or the same thing? Yeah. Well, one use of dependent co-arising is the teaching of the various elements in the arising of suffering and the ceasing of suffering. That's one teaching of dependent co-arising. But another teaching of dependent co-arising is more simple, which is depending on this, there is this. And depending on the extinction of this, there is the extinction of that. Depending on the arising of this, there's the arising of that. So depending on the arising of sentient beings, there is Buddhas. Depending on only a Buddha, there is together with Buddha. So this dependent co-arising of Buddha and sentient beings


is Zen meditation. So the dependent co-arising of those two is a dependent co-arising of Zen meditation. And because these things co-arise together and depend on each other, you can't grasp either one of them because they arise together. So because they're dependently co-arisen, they're also ungraspable. Okay. Thank you. You're welcome. Thank you for your question. Rana. Hello, Rob. Rana.


Is that true that the Buddha meets Buddha and ignites compassion? Well, I wouldn't say it ignites it. I would just say it continues it. Because Buddha meeting Buddha, they can't meet without... This is two compassionate beings meeting. So two compassionate beings meet and they practice compassion together. But it isn't exactly that it ignites it. The flame's already on as they meet. Yes. Thank you. You're welcome. Yes, you can.


Good evening. When you say only a Buddha together with Buddha, to me, that sounds really lofty. And I think I sometimes slip into thinking about well, you're talking about unicorns meeting, you know. And I'm not sure how an ordinary person like this one fits into that only Buddha and Buddha. Let's see. Do you have a sense of how you can be yourself completely? That seems ordinary and kind of lowly. In a way, it is lonely for you to be just completely... Lowly, not lonely. Lowly, like lowly.


Lowly, lowly. So again, if it seems lowly, then do you have some idea of how to be completely lowly? Yeah, I just don't see that connecting with a Buddha and a Buddha. Well, if you're feeling lowly, and you're completely feeling lowly, that's what only a Buddha is. That's a solitary Buddha. If you're feeling lonely, lowly, I mean, if you're feeling lowly, and a Buddha were you, a Buddha would feel lowly completely. Yeah, there's something about the word Buddha that sounds like it's really


distant and extraordinary and not ordinary. If you have the thought that Buddha is extraordinary and not ordinary, only a Buddha at that moment would be to have that thought completely. That's what we mean by Buddha. Buddha is you being completely you. However, it may be difficult for you to allow yourself to be completely you. That may be hard. One of the phrases in the essay, Only a Buddha and a Buddha, one of the phrases is, don't be afraid of being small. Or slightly differently, don't be afraid of being lowly. Don't be afraid of being limited.


Buddha is not afraid of being lowly. Buddha is not afraid of being small. If small is what's happening, Buddha would be small. So for you to practice being a solitary Buddha, for you to realize the practice of being only Buddha would be for you to be completely small, limited, lowly. And again, if Buddha were given the assignment of being you, at that moment, Buddha would do it just like you're doing it, except more fully than you are. Because we have some resistance to being little, to being small, to being tiny. We have some resistance to being ordinary. So you said that, yeah, that seeing, what is it, Buddha seemed lofty.


And that's fine that it seems lofty. It is lofty in a sense. It's like super lofty to be able to be ordinary completely. You know, only a few people can, only a few beings can totally be little with no reservation. We're all little, but very few of us have no reservations about that. Most of us are slipping into being smaller than we are, or trying to be bigger than who we are. Buddha doesn't do that. Buddha would be just like you completely, without changing anything about you. That's only a Buddha. And that only a Buddha is practicing together with all other little beings who are challenged to be completely themselves. That's the other part of Buddha's job, is that she's not just being herself just as she is.


So on a daily basis, most of us have quite a few opportunities of having difficulty being little, having our little feelings, our little pains. Like I was saying to you earlier, I was feeling kind of weak and tired today in the body. It was a little hard for me to be kind of like completely there with that. But I knew that that was my job. And so I told you about it. And again, it's very lofty to be able to be ordinary with no reservations. That's a lofty attainment. Or you could say if you don't want to go up, it's a very deep attainment. It's going very deep to be how you are, with no movement towards or away from it,


to be still and silent with all your comments about yourself. I'm not lonely to be quiet and still with these comments. And you're saying that's enough? I didn't say enough. Enough is talking too much. Okay. Thank you. Without even saying it's enough, just be this person that you are. And if you're talking about being enough, then be the person who says enough. And if you say not enough, be the person who says not enough. So people have a hard time with enough and not enough. This practice is to be the person who's having trouble with enough and not enough. Be that person. Buddha would be that person. Or Buddha is being that person completely, and Buddha would be that person completely.


And that's very hard. But of course, it's not impossible since we already are what we're trying to be. Thank you for your question. Thank you. Rosie. Hello, Rev. Hello. Last week, you shortened the phrase of only a Buddha. And there were four words, only Buddha, together Buddha. And it occurred to me about sitting on the cushion, that we bow to the cushion


or the seating place. And to me, that's only Buddha. And it feels faster. Okay, I'll come back. I heard you say, when you bow to your place, that's only Buddha. Can you hear me? No, I can't. You can't hear me? I can't hear you. Okay, I'm gonna... Oh, you can? Okay, good. So yes, bowing to the cushion is only Buddha. And bowing away from the cushion is together Buddha.


That occurred to me. And it felt to me less specific and more inclusive and vast in that without using the word with or a, with a Buddha. Only Buddha, together Buddha, feels the inclusion or the palms together. And, and also, speaking to Karen just now, Yuki, the word, the terms back, nothing special and just this, feel like it's a part of that, only Buddha, together Buddha. It's a, it allows more of the inclusion as I experience it. So that's a, can you comment on that? I think what I hear you doing is I hear you meditating.


I hear you meditating on this teaching. I hear you remembering this teaching and trying it on and then remembering it and trying it on. I see, I, I witness you practicing this teaching. Thank you. Thank you. Gayatri. Hello, Reb. Good evening. Good evening. So, so Reb, I don't know if you remember me from the Lotus Sutra gathering. I remember you. Yeah, so it made a deep impression on me.


And I just wanted to say thank you so much for those teachings. They've been simmering in my mind ever since in different ways. And, and my tradition, like I, my, I guess my spiritual foundation is from the Advaita tradition. So, you know, and I, I had a teacher and, you know, I've been studying in that tradition. So the Zen tradition is very new to me. But I can hear echoes of everything that, that I've been studying before. And, and, and I'm, and when I'm learning these new teachings from the Lotus Sutra, you know, I'm relating it to ideas that I've already had. And I'm trying to, you know, make sense of it, you know, based on previous understandings and fresh understandings as well. But, and when we were at the Lotus Sutra, the, at that gathering, I remember talking about this image of a wok and, you know,


different ingredients in a wok and all of that. Remember, I don't know if you remember that. Yes. Yeah, so, but, and then since then, I had this other image, and which I'd like to share with you and see, you know, and there were two things that, that I've been meditating on. One is the only Buddha, together with Buddha, you know, that, that phrase, I've been sort of contemplating that. And then the other one was a statement that you made to one of the people in the group, where you said, all your internal dharmas are sentient beings. And so that kind of stayed with me for a bit. So, and then, so the image that came to my mind was one of, so you know, a marbling painting, you know, marbling, you know, and different spirals and loops and things like that, right? So, so think of like an infinite, like a marbling painting with all these little swirls, right?


And each swirl has got like a little center, a little locus, which is effectively empty. So there's no real, it co-arises with everything around it, right? So the center and everything around it is, it's like a dynamic marbling painting that is infinitely and all completely connected to everything else. So anything that moves here is also moving there. So in this very moment, whatever my internal dharmas are, you know, my thoughts and feelings and sensations and breath and, and everything that I am in this moment can only be if everything else in this marbling painting were exactly the way it was in this moment. And so that's the together with Buddha. So if you take each locus as only Buddha, and then the whole thing as together Buddha,


and the canvas is inseparably one with the painting. So that's, you know, in that way, right? So then, then you're in that threshold of what the Rumi threshold that you were talking about in the Rumi poem in, in right in there, right in that, in that, between, it's hard to articulate, but... You're doing fine. Sorry? You're doing fine. Thank you. So, so the, so I guess, so the, the one confusing part in this was actually from chapter three of the Lotus Sutra, where they talk about, and it was one of those jarring chapters where, you know, they were talking about things like, okay, if you slander the Lotus Sutra, then you're going to be born as a so-and-so


and you're going to suffer in this way and that way. And, you know, you're going to, you're going to be born in some difficult situation if you treat the Lotus Sutra irreverently or you slander the Lotus Sutra. And then, so my thought is, well, if that center, that locus is empty, who is being born? And what are the consequences that they're going to face? Because there's no, there's nothing there. It's only, it only exists in relation to everything else around it. So what does it mean to be born as this or to be born as a bodhisattva or to be, to have some kind of... So I don't know, I found that to be extremely, it seemed to contradict this other understanding. So... Well, the individual little, what did you call those little points?


Swirlies, yeah. Like, you know, like a little, yeah, like a little swirl, yeah. That little particularity, okay. As you said, it's really, you can't grasp it. Yeah. As it depends on everything else. So it's the same with the little thing called a person who gets in trouble or it's like this person who's doing this little thing called disrespecting something. So the Lotus Sutra says, if you disrespect the Lotus Sutra, the Lotus Sutra also says, if you disrespect anything. So the swirling is, when the pattern takes the form of disrespect, then that pattern swirls with creating other little problems that we don't want. Other forms of suffering swirl with being disrespectful.


But really, when you look at the person who's being disrespectful, you can't actually get ahold of them because they're the whole thing. And if you look at the consequences of being disrespectful, it's another particularity, which includes the whole thing, and you can't get ahold of that either. However, in the realm of particularities, this particularity goes with that particularity. But you can't get ahold of either one of them by the logic of what you just said before. Right. So in effect, what it means is that whatever you're doing to disrespect, you can take it in a very broad sense. Disrespect could just mean that you're not meeting something wholeheartedly, right? That could be a form of slandering or disrespecting, right? It's like saying, if I can't meet my particularity wholeheartedly,


that's like slandering the Lotus Sutra, in a way. If you could take it like that, you know? It's slandering the Dharma. Sorry? It's slandering the Dharma, yes. Dharma, right. It's slandering the truth. Yes, because this is it. Disrespecting the way the universe is being offered at the moment. And that has a consequence. However, the thing you're not respecting cannot be grasped. However, if you don't respect, you don't understand that it can't be grasped. And that often disrespect goes with trying to grasp something or thinking that you already have. But that also cannot be grasped. But you have to admit that there was an attempt to grasp, and you thought you could grasp grasping and all that. So we have to be honest about that. Right. So that's being honest about that is only a Buddha.


Only a Buddha. And when you do only a Buddha, you realize that you can't grasp only a Buddha. Because it's always changing. Also because it's actually the whole universe in this particular form. So in a way, when we're slandering something, we're actually creating conditions for disharmony for other sentient beings, not necessarily this particular center. It's like for everything, in a way. The way the swirl goes. Right. Wherever that swirl moves. However, because of the way the swirl goes, you can't actually pin the tail on the donkey. You can't get a hold of anything in the process. But you have to study the process wholeheartedly in order to realize that you can't grasp anything in the process.


That's the gate of liberation of all things. Can I say one more thing? So one of the ways now I'm starting to think about reincarnation then is like, so before I had this idea that somehow this guy tree is going to now come as a jackal or something else or whatever. I had a different understanding. But now the analogy that I'm thinking of is like, I have an orange tree in my backyard. And an orange falls down from that tree. So it falls down. And part of it kind of rots into the grass around it. And it becomes compost for the food for the neighboring grass and the plants. And then a squirrel comes and eats a part of it. And it becomes part of the squirrel's body. And then some of that liquid stuff evaporates and becomes a cloud.


And it rains. So effectively, this orange has reincarnated to multiple things. And it's not any one thing. It's like, you know what I mean? It's not like one thing becoming another thing. It's a many-to-many relationship, not a one-to... It's a one-to-many. A one-to-many. Sorry, one-to-many. One-to-many. But the orange was that way before it fell off the tree. Sorry, say that one more time, Jack. Before the orange fell off the tree and started decomposing, when it was up in the tree, it was also doing the same practice. Yes. Yes. It was harder for you to see it because it looked so coherent. Uh-huh, uh-huh. But it can't be there except through everything else. Yeah, yeah. Okay.


And in order to realize that, we have the job of being an orange. We have to be an orange. Okay. Thank you, Rob. That was thank you. You're welcome. Fran? Hello, Rob. Hello, Fran. I'm just trying to see us both at the same time. So I'm wondering, in trying to be only a Buddha with a Buddha, can this be done with all sentient beings? Or in the sense that any sentient being is potentially a Buddha? Or are you speaking about zazen, meaning having this experience with another,


with a practitioner who's experiencing stillness and silence at that time? Would you say that again, please? So I'm wondering if in trying to be only a Buddha with a Buddha, we can try to do that with any sentient being? Oh, yeah. Because... Well, you can do it with any sentient being. And you start with a particular sentient being who we call Fran. So you do that practice with Fran. Mm-hmm. As the only, the only, only Buddha part, try to do that, yeah. And then everybody you meet is an opportunity to do that together with another. Everybody. Okay. Everything.


And also, every one of your experiences that are not you. Like you're not, you're not your fear, for example. You have, you have fear within you. Mm-hmm. But you're not your fear. But you are your fear. To and not to. Okay. Your fear, your fear is the gate of liberation. And you have to be you to live at that gate. And so is my fear a Buddha? Is the Buddha that I'm being with? Is your fear a Buddha? When we're saying practice of being, being only a Buddha with a Buddha.


So the Buddha that I'm trying to be with, that's what I'm asking about. I would say that your fear, being completely fear, is another Buddha for you to meet. Okay. So it can be anything. It can, it can be anything. It can be anything. Okay. It has to be everything. Is there something special in the relationship? When both, only the Buddha and the Buddha are both practicing? And practicing Zazen consciously, is that something different? Different. There is something special. And the special, what's special is that the specials are completely allowing their specialness.


And not trying to be anything else. That is kind of special. But the realization of specialness. And it's the realization of specialness with other full realizations of specialness. And you can call that special. You can also call it extraordinary. But it also could be called completely accepting ordinariness. And to transmit and accepting ordinariness completely is to accept stillness. And to accept silence. To accept ordinariness with no comment. Just accept it. Just allow it completely. That meets, that is own, that is a solitary Buddha.


That is a solitary Buddha being ordinary. And that meets together with Buddha. That works with the whole universe. And also working with the whole universe shows that you're willing to be who you are. Because you're who you are in an ordinary way, meeting the whole universe all day long. And if that sounds special, then it's quite ordinary that that would sound special. Yes. Thank you. You're welcome. Hello, Nettie.


Yes. Nettie. Yes. So I was noticing, and I even had some conversation with Tracy after last time. Sorry to out you, Tracy. That it seemed like, and maybe I just haven't been paying attention at previous classes, which could be the case, right? But it seems like the last class and even today, you've been using the word prayer more than I've seen you in the, or I've heard you in the past. And I heard you say tonight in the beginning, praying for stillness and silence. And in my own life right now, I find myself almost perhaps praying more, maybe given the times that we're in. I guess I'm curious to understand how you would define prayer. I think I'll end it with that. Also, I would like to just make a slight distinction.


I'm not praying for stillness. I'm praying that you receive it. We've already got the stillness, but I would like, I pray that you will receive it. So prayer, I guess for me is something I do with my body and my speech and my thought. It's like an action. And I'm not in control of my prayers. And it's also, prayer is like a request. And it's like a wish. And it's like a commitment. So I'm committed to you, for example, receiving stillness and being who you are and remembering that. I'm committed to that. I wish for that.


And also I say so, and I think of it. I think that I want that. I wish that for you. And when I think it, it's a prayer. I want this for you. I wish this for you. And prayers incarnate me, make me a certain kind of a being in the world. My prayers do. So like Buddhas appear because they have prayers. Buddhas pray that we will open to Buddha's wisdom. And their prayer that we would open to Buddha's wisdom, their wish that we would, makes them appear in our lives. So I appear in your life because of my prayers for you and other beings. And I appear as somebody who wishes things for you and others.


And I'm committed to those things. So my commitment, my wish, my vow, those are, that makes these things prayers. So you remember, you receive stillness, okay? I wish for that. You enter Buddha's wisdom. I wish for that. That's my prayer. And I'm using my body, like when I sit, I use my posture as a gesture of you remembering stillness. So when I sit still, it's a gesture, it's a prayer for you to sit still. Not for you too, but for the wish that you would. That's very helpful. Thank you. I sort of changed how I think about it,


less of a grasping onto and more of a- Not grasping, no. I'm just like, I'm sitting still as a prayer for you to receive my sitting still and your sitting still. I'm not trying to get you to do anything. I'm wishing for you to be who you are. And my body is a prayer for you to do that, for you to be that. Thank you. Nettie. Linda. Hi, good evening. Good evening. I'm just moving something out of the way on my screen. Okay. Yeah, I've heard you talking about silence and stillness.


A number of times. And a few times over the last 40, 50 years, I even had a little hint of it. So I actually believe there is such a thing as silence and stillness, such an experience. And you tonight have suggested sometimes in your words like that in that state of silence and stillness, we can know that experience of the Buddha and the Buddha. So I was thinking of what happens when I sit meditation. Or just live. I don't feel silence and stillness. I have a lot of agitation and strange feelings in my throat


and so on. And I'm trying to get you to say what you again. So I'm guessing you that would say that the way to silence and stillness is not to try to think there's a thing called silence and stillness that I have to get. That's a delusion. But you keep saying to be completely whatever it is. What if it's agitation or distraction? This is a very elusive. To be exactly that thing, which is experienced as not silence and not stillness. To be. Anyway, you get the you get the question. I think I do. Thank you for offering it.


So at the moment that you feel Agitation, not still. At that moment, when you feel that way. What I'm praying for is that when you feel agitation, I'm praying that you will receive stillness. Is there any? Thank you. I know you're praying that. That's why that's something wonderful. In that moment. I guess it's still sort of mysterious to me of. To be that thing to be that. What is that? Let's say, for example, you're feeling agitated. Yes. And I might and I'm praying. That when you feel agitated,


when you have that particular thing called feeling agitated. Yeah. I'm praying that you remember. First of all, that you receive stillness. Like maybe, maybe I'm with you, you know, and you say to me, Hey, Reb, guess what? And I say, what? You say, I'm feeling agitated. And I say to you, Hey, Linda, would you be willing to receive stillness? And you say, okay. And you actually do, you receive stillness. And when you receive stillness, it does not get rid of your feeling of agitation. Does not do anything to your feeling of agitation. But you did say, okay. Let's say, let's say you did. And when you said, okay, you were sincere. And you actually received stillness. And, and you noticed when you received it,


it didn't do anything to my agitation. It didn't change it really. However, what it, what receiving it did, the function of receiving it is, it helped me be more completely agitated. And being completely agitated, when you're completely agitated is only a Buddha. So, you can't tell me how exactly to make this happen, but you give me a little image. Reb is helping me. Reb is definitely praying for this for you and himself and everybody. And also Reb is saying that the remembering stillness is not to get rid of agitation.


It is, it is, helps us completely be agitated in the particular way we're agitated today. And then tomorrow we'll be agitated in another way. And remembering stillness helps us be agitated in exactly that way. And that's exactly how a Buddha would be completely agitated the way you're agitated. However, it does help to remember stillness in order to fully be agitated. And when you're fully agitated, you're not just fully agitated. You're also a solitary Buddha. And you are at the, and you are realizing being at the gate of liberation with, together with Buddhas. And this is not getting rid of any agitation, which isn't, and getting rid of agitation


is not respectful of it. Buddha respects your agitation. I hear you saying that. I respect your agitation. I'm not trying to get rid of it. However, along with however you're feeling, including if you've, if you said, Hey Rev, guess what? What, what Linda? I'm feeling really quite serene today. And I still, my prayer goes on. When you're feeling serene, I still wish you would remember and receive stillness. Your serenity comes and goes, right? But stillness doesn't come or go. And I want you to remember that so that you can be completely serene when you're serene and completely agitated when you're agitated. And I'm happy for you when you're agitated. I'm not happy for you being agitated. I'm happy for you being completely agitated when you're agitated. Cause that is you doing your job


of being only a Buddha. And then you can meet the rest of the Buddhas. I'll keep trying to do that job. Yeah, please do. And I'll keep praying that you get the assistance you need, which is you need stillness and it's available and you need to keep remembering it. Cause it's available. And I pray you remember it. And I pray I remember it. And when I remember it, I never regret remembering it. And it helps me be the whatever I am, the whatever little person I am. Remembering it is like a koan. Just have to keep- It's like a koan, yeah. It's like a koan, yeah. Remembering is like remembering a koan. It's remembering the stillness koan and the silence koan in the middle of noise and movement. I pray you remember this koan.


I think we can have one more. We made it one more offering tonight. Yes. I am- It's so nice to- I'm a little in shock because over the weekend, there was a document that- I'm terrified. I'm absolutely terrified because I lost a document and- I pray that you receive stillness in your terror. I'm absolutely blessed to be with you, this high, mighty and sangha. But I am absolutely terrified about losing a document that I had and was in one piece over the weekend. I pray that you remember silence and stillness


while you're in terror. I just- Thank you so much. I really appreciate- If I'm in terror, if I'm in terror, you know, I pray that I remember it. If I'm having a heart attack, I pray that I remember silence and stillness in the middle of my heart attack. I pray for that. And I pray for you to receive silence and stillness when there's terror. Yeah, thank you. You're welcome. I don't want to- I want to see you next week. Thank you. That would be nice. I'd like to see you next week too. Okay. Thank you everybody so much for your wonderful presence. May the merit of our meeting tonight,


may the merit of our practice together tonight extend to every being and place with the true merit of Buddha's way. Beings are numberless. I vow to save them. Afflictions are inexhaustible. I vow to remember silence and stillness in the middle of them. Dharma gates are boundless. I vow to enter them. Buddha way is unsurpassable. I vow to become it. Please take care of your practice. See you next week, dear friends. Good night. Good night. Thank you. [...] Good night, Rev. Thank you. Thank you, Rev. Thanks, Rev. Thank you all. Good night. Good night, Rev.


Thank you. Thank you. Good night, everyone. Good night. Bye. Peace. Bye. Bye. Good night, Rev. I love this darling. Good night.